Since it was established in Germany in 1949, by Adolf Dassler, Adidas has been synonymous with the sporting industry. Today, Adidas is a global public company and is one of the largest sports brands in the world. It is a household brand name with its three stripes logo recognised in markets across the world.
The company’s product portfolio is vast, ranging from state-of-the-art sports footwear and clothing to accessories such as bags, watches, eyewear and other sports-related goods and equipment. Employing over 46,000 people worldwide, the Adidas Group consists of around 170 subsidiaries including Reebok, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, Rockport and CCM-Hockey. The Group’s headquarters are in Herzogenaurach, Germany. In the second quarter of 2013, the Group’s revenue was €3.383 billion.
The Adidas brand is built on a passion for sports excellence and innovative design to help athletes perform to the best of their ability. It is, therefore, no surprise that Adidas has supported many iconic athletes to achieve great things at the Olympic Games. In the UK, Adidas has partnered and supplied Team GB since 1984. The company’s heritage with the Olympic Games dates back to the Games in Amsterdam in 1928 when Adidas running shoes were debuted. Footwear and clothing by Adidas have been seen on athletes at every Olympic Games since. In fact, all British medal-winning athletes at the last 8 Olympic Games wore Adidas products.
There are countless historic sporting achievements that have taken place in Adidas products. These include:
- Jesse Owens’ 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936
- Cassius Marcellus Clay (Muhammad Ali) taking gold in the boxing light-heavyweight division at Rome 1960
- Dick Fosbury’s revolutionary new back-first high jump technique at Mexico 1968, known as the ‘Fosbury Flop’
- Gymnast Nadia Comaneci’s perfect 10 at Montreal 1976.
This case study demonstrates how Adidas used innovative marketing strategies in its sponsorship deal with the London 2012 Olympic Games to engage with young consumers in the UK and across the globe.